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Peanut Butter Cookies

Is there anything more familiar and wholesome than a peanut butter cookie? Not to this American girl. I was thinking a lot this morning about my nan. I miss her a lot. We just visited the family in San Antonio over July 4th, but it’s always hard to leave again.

This morning, thinking about Nanny, I was reminded of why I started this blog. So much of what she taught me is poured out on these few webpages. Sadly, she’s at the point now where she hardly cooks for herself anymore, and so she’s forgotten some of the favorite recipes we cooked together. Even stuff I’m not a fan of, like her potato salad. I can make it by heart, even though I never eat it. Her secret? Poppy seeds. But she’d forgotten about that the last time I was home and my sister was making it for a family meal.

While it’s a little heartbreaking, it also reaffirms to me why I should keep writing these recipes down, and sharing them with you. No matter what, there are recipes within a family that should go on. That should have a life beyond the people who made them their own.

Have I reinvented the wheel with these peanut butter cookies? Heck no. You don’t mess with perfection. But this recipe is special to me. It’s found in the pages of the Better Homes and Gardens “New” Cookbook, which has been faithfully published since 1930. The one in my grandmother’s kitchen was published in 1957. It may be falling apart, but it is well loved and well utilized.

Nanny started my cookbook collection, giving me the paperback version of this cookbook. Inside the first page, she wrote, “Dear Am, Thought you might enjoy this cook book. A start for your collection of recipes. Love, Nanny & Gaga”, dated February 5th, 1997 – the day before my 17th birthday. I think Nanny always knew that I would be the messy but good cook, while my sister is the well organized tidy one. While both Chellee and I have improved on the other’s respective talents, we still shine most in what is our element. I really cherish the fact that our grandmother took the time to know the differences between us while loving us equally. No two girls were as blessed for grandparents than Chellee and I – except maybe Maggy and Sharon over at Three Many Cooks.

Today, I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. And I remembered baking them with my Nanny, at the ripe age of 4. I remember her teaching me how to roll the balls in sugar, and how to press them with a fork. And I remember the handslap for trying to grab one before they were cool. The first of many, for sure.

Go make these. And remember your own mom, grandma, aunt or godmother. Whether she taught you how to bake or not, she taught you something that makes you who you are today. Thanks, Nanny. I love ya.

[wpurp-searchable-recipe]Peanut Butter Cookies – – – [/wpurp-searchable-recipe]

Black Cherry, Lemon, and Oatmeal Scones
The Big Summer Potluck


Monday 9th of August 2010

This was such a sweet post. Much like the comment you left me. :) I would love to go to Phila. with you. Drop me an email so we can make plans.


Sunday 8th of August 2010

Ok, so THAT brought tears to my eyes! LOVE that this recipe is tied to a memory of you and Nanny in the kitchen at 4 - it's just a lost art these days. So many people don't or won't have those memories to cherish - It's fantastic that you're writing them down and yes, Amber, cherish them. So happy to have met you this weekend!


Thursday 5th of August 2010

What a sweet post. Thanks for sharing. I agree-you must write down the old recipes to share with the future generations.

I've never seen a peanut butter cookie recipe that called for brown sugar or honey. I'm very intrigued!

Tickled Red

Thursday 5th of August 2010

I know what you mean. There are so many of my Grannies recipes that fell through the cracks but I have some of my very favorites held close to my heart :) Thanks so much for the trip down memory lane and for not messing with perfection. Peanut Butter cookies are the best.